► Edition Chiron Noire duo revealed
► Available in Sportive or Elegance trim
► Just 20 to be sold, €3m + taxes each
A full two months out from the Geneva Motor Show and Bugatti’s fired its first shot in the war to steal the limelight, teasing an under-wraps image of a hypercar.
The image, which Bugatti posted on January 6, shows a cover artfully – and infuriatingly – draped over a low, wide supercar. So far, so Bugatti. Molsheim isn’t giving anything away, so we can only speculate about the car beneath. Certainly it appears to be based on the Chiron – everything Bugatti’s done since its Veyron successor has been Chiron-based, and as CEO Stephan Winkelmann told CAR last year, its successor is still some way off. The key for him is working to ensure Bugatti can afford to replace it – ‘We are making sure we can finance the follow-up to Chiron – we should not be worrying about this.’
So, another limited-run design exercise, like last year’s stunning EB110-inspired Centodieci? Eminently plausible, as Winkelmann chases profitability and Bugatti’s on-fire design department continues to work its magic.
But perhaps there’s a clue in something Winkelmann said at the Frankfurt show. ‘Since the Veyron Bugatti has focused on longitudinal acceleration and top speed. With the long-tail [the Super Sport 300+] we highlighted top speed again. But there’s another type of performance you can achieve – handling; how fast you can get into a corner and out of a corner. This is less orientated to top speed and more towards fun, and agility. This is one of the things we have to look into, with the existing Chiron.’
A marginally ‘slower’ but altogether more agile and responsive Chiron, happy on a twisty road? Oh yes.
Bugatti Chiron Noire Edition
If the regular Chiron isn’t quite evocative or exclusive enough then you’re in luck, as Bugatti has unveiled its new Chiron Noire editions, inspired by La Voiture Noire one-off. Deep-pocketed punters can pick from the Sportive or the Elegance models, with a Ronseal-approved nod to greater sporting looks or a more restrained, elegant vibe.
The new Bugatti Chiron Noire Sportive has exposed carbonfibre with a matt black finish; nearly all visible brightwork is anodised and black - and this continues inside the cabin. Power has benefited from the black arts, too - rising to 1480bhp and 1180lb ft of torque from the 8.0-litre W16. The Chiron Noire Elegance swaps black for more liberally sprayed polished aluminium details.
Just 20 black Bugs will be sold from the second quarter of 2020, priced from €3 million plus local taxes.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300+
Earlier in 2019 Bugatti showed off its Chiron Super Sport 300+ based on the modified Chiron that recently exceeded 300mph at the Ehra-Lessien test track. The new special edition features the same long-tail design, reworked nose, stacked exhaust set-up and jet-black exposed carbonfibre finish with orange detailing. The interior is far more conventional though, a few bespoke tweaks aside, unlike the stripped-out and caged speed run car.
The new Super Sport 300+ also reportedly packs the same amount of power as the 300mph-run car, more to the point, with Bugatti claiming an output of 1577bhp. That’s a jump of almost 100bhp, compared to the Chiron and Chiron Sport, which is admittedly a less impressive percentage hike of 6.6 per cent. That’s not something you’re going to notice on the road, but every little helps.
Only 30 of the special-edition Chirons will be built, automatically granting them licence-to-print-money status; in this case, each costs €3.5 million (£3.12 million) – about €1 million more than a regular Chiron – and that’s presumably before local taxes.
There’s no word as to whether this so-called 300+ variant can actually hit 300mph, however. The modified Chiron that achieved such speeds had a different seventh gear and a range of upgrades, including a laser-controlled ride height system. All production Chirons have also been limited to 261mph, due to tyre-related concerns.
Mind you, it’s unlikely that many would ever consider stretching its legs that far but, if enough money is thrown at the problem, perhaps a customer could get their car up to such heady heights.
Tell me more about the ‘record’ 304.8mph run?
Bugatti broke the 300mph barrier with a specially prepared Chiron, claiming that the ‘near-production prototype derivative’ hit 304.773mph – which is a world record.
Or, at least, that’s what Bugatti keeps telling everyone; while there’s no doubt that the car went that fast, the test run was only carried out in one direction and the car was substantially modified. Consequently, it’s not eligible for any formal record title.
For now, the Koenigsegg Agera RS retains the world’s fastest production car record with its 277.9mph average.
Regardless, it’s a remarkable achievement – and no mean feat to drive a car at such speeds. The car was driven by Briton Andy Wallace, who also set production speed records with the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220 in a blistering career of driving fast.
It wasn’t just a case of a quick dash, when it came to setting the benchmark speed, either. For example, it took the Chiron some 43 seconds to climb from 200mph to 300mph alone. A lot of ground is covered in that time, and not all of it was plain sailing.
‘There is a surface change [on the straight], and I was calling it a ramp and jump, and everyone was wondering why I was calling it that,’ said Wallace in an interview with Wheels Magazine.
‘That was until they looked at the data, and they realised that it actually is a jump. This occurs at 447km/h [278mph] on that fast run. It goes from a nice smooth surface, to an older surface. It felt to me inside the cabin that it was all coming off the ground and then coming down.’
What was different on the 304mph Bugatti?
The Chiron used wasn’t standard: among other tweaks, its W16 engine was cranked up to 1577bhp, some 100bhp more than the standard car, while a taller seventh gear was used to help the car reach higher speeds.
Dallara, which builds the Chiron’s bodywork, also made a longer, more efficient body with extra cooling and less downforce.
At these speeds, and in a high-speed task like this, downforce is not your friend...
The record took place at the VW Group’s Ehra-Lessien test track – one of the few places in Europe fast enough to realise the Chiron's potential.
You need a lot more power if you want to get up to speed in a shorter distance; M2K Motorsport’s road-legal Ford GT can exceed 300mph in a standing mile, and to do so requires its engine to produce in excess of 2500bhp.
And don't forget the Bugatti Chiron 110 Ans
Bugatti is 110 years old in 2019, and to celebrate the French manufacturer revealed a special edition of its Chiron Sport, which itself is a more dynamic version of the original Chiron. Just 20 of the cars will be made, and each features a collection of tweaks that celebrate France as well as the Bugatti brand.
'With the limited Chiron Sport 110 Ans, Bugatti is ushering in the 110th anniversary of its foundation,’ said Stephan Winkelmann, president of Bugatti Automobiles. ‘Molsheim in the Alsace region of France is an essential element in Bugatti’s brand history and this is also where we are planning our future.’
Go on, what’s different on the Bugatti Chiron 110 Ans then?
Well, the new car features matt Steel Blue paintwork throughout, which we’re told has a sheen ‘like hot-rolled steel.’
Around the front of the car you’ll also find exposed Steel Blue carbonfibre, and French racing blue brake callipers, too. Sandblasted aluminum features on the fuel filler cap, and the rear spoiler has the French flag emblazoned underneath.
The Chiron Sport 110 Ans Bugatti rolls on matt black alloys which match the Bugatti logo at the rear and the top of the spoiler, too.
Inside, you’ll find lashings of tricolour and carbonfibre detailing, as well as a ‘110 Ans Bugatti’ emblem on the seats.
Bugatti says it’s throwing in the optional Sky Roof as standard on this car, so this special edition gets two fixed glass panels above the driver and passenger.
The engine and other internals are unchanged over the standard Chiron Sport.
There’s no price released yet, but if you have to ask...
Chiron Sport: everything you need to know
Read on to find out more about the 'regular' Bugatti Chiron Sport. As if any Bugatti can be deemed regular...
How to improve something as rapid as the Chiron? If you’re Bugatti, you unveil the Chiron Sport at the Geneva motor show – a car that now promises incredible handling to match its already mind-blowing speed.
Interestingly, there’s no engine performance increases to talk about here; the Chiron Sport is virtually unchanged when it comes to the powertrain or tuning – instead, it’s the handling of the car that’s been revised.
Bugatti says the Chiron Sport has a stiffer suspension than the ‘stock’ Chiron. An optimised rear-axle differential and Dynamic Torque Vectoring system also enhance the overall direction change of the car – and should help to put some of the Chiron’s prodigious amounts of twist onto the tarmac.
Bugatti Chiron Sport: Wonder-wipers and weight-loss
In addition to new hardware to increase drivability, Bugatti has also put the Chiron on a strict diet – so expect to see considerably more carbon-fibre and a little less luxury. For example, the Sport represents the first production car with windscreen wiper arms made of carbon weave.
Bugatti says the in-house developed wipers are 77% lighter than the standard ones, and have ‘aerodynamic properties'. The company hasn't confirmed how many points of downforce the new wipers add, sadly.
To make the Chiron sport even more exclusive-looking than the rest of the range, Bugatti is offering it in a few exclusive colours such as Italian Red, French Racing Blue, a silver Grid Rafale, and dark grey Gun Powder. The Chiron Sport also gets its own Course alloy wheels, which save weight, but also are unique to the sporty hypercar.
At the unveiling, Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann promised that there was much more to come from Bugatti. 'The Chiron Sport has new agility, especially in tight corners,' he said. More importantly, he added: 'we're working on the brand.'
As for the cost? The Chiron Sport will cost €2.65 million net (roughly £2,361,600), compared to €2.5 million (£2,227,955) for the standard Chiron. Orders are opening now, and deliveries will take place before the year is out.